Closure of Saiff Drugs on Raritan Avenue after 60 years

HIGHLAND PARK – Saiff Drugs on Raritan Avenue will close next week after nearly 60 years in business.

Vijay Maktal, co-owner of the pharmacy for 19 years, said the last day of business will be August 2.

“It was a financial decision,” Maktal said, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic did not help. “I will miss serving Highland Park.”

Maktal said the past few days have been very emotional for him and his customers. The pharmacy has three full-time and four part-time employees.

Saiff Drugs was named after Ivan Saiff, formerly of Edison, who bought the company in 1963. Saiff, a graduate of Rutgers College of Pharmacy according to his LinkedIn profile, remains the owner of the company, Maktal said.

Maktal said customer prescriptions are being moved to Rite Aid across the street at 322 Raritan Ave., starting Aug. 3.

“Saiff Drugs has been in Highland Park longer than I have,” said Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler. “This is a family business that has served the medical needs of our residents for many decades and has earned the trust of many, many families. I’m sorry to see the store disappear.”

Councilor Matthew Hale said it was difficult any time a business left Highland Park or any community.

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“Obviously towns like Highland Park are doing everything they can to attract and retain business, but the world of retail is changing, generations are changing and that’s a tough thing for everyone to deal with. world,” Hale said. “Saiff Drugs have been a long time part of Highland Park and we are sad to see them go, but we hope there will be someone else to take their place.”

Hale said every municipality in New Jersey is facing tough times with retail, and all communities can do is be as supportive of business as possible.

Hale said Saiff Drugs wasn’t part of redevelopment plans before the borough, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be in the future.

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Suzanne Russell is a breaking news reporter for MyCentralJersey.com covering crime, the courts and other mayhem. To get unlimited access, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

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